This past year, the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program staff traveled to visit other state Registered Apprenticeship programs to see apprenticeship in action, learn best practices, and discover the unique ways that apprenticeship is working to strengthen businesses and economies. We’ve outlined a few key learnings from the trip that have helped to propel our work and inspired our goals for 2019.
Top 3 Learnings:
- Registered Apprenticeship is truly among the most versatile and valuable training and workforce development programs. During our trip to North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, the MAP team was able to gain a tangible understanding of how truly customizable Registered Apprenticeship can be. Companies in various industries can build out programs to fit their current workforce needs, while also looking ahead to what they need their workforce to become.
- Having an active and robust Registered Apprenticeship program not only creates skilled workers but a skilled workforce system that contributes to economic development. As evidenced through other programs, such as the Apprenticeship Carolina program in South Carolina, apprenticeship not only supports existing businesses but encourages the establishment of new businesses and expansion because companies feel confident that there will be a workforce they can tap into to meet their needs.
- Business and industry benefit from Registered Apprenticeship and communities benefit as well. Registered Apprenticeships create opportunities for well-paying, family-sustaining careers in communities. The average wage for a worker who completes an apprenticeship is $50,000 per year. Apprenticeship affords individuals, particularly those in smaller communities, the chance to build a career without having to relocate. We saw how less populated areas and small towns in Wisconsin sustain their communities and provide work for their citizens through Registered Apprenticeship.
Top 3 Hopes for 2019
- Engage Small Businesses
Smaller companies have some of the same challenges meeting the need for highly skilled workers, but often have fewer resources to tap to find the human capital they need to reach their goals. This year, we want to help more small companies learn about the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship and how launching a program can help them address their workforce challenges.
- Create a K-12 Apprenticeship Pathway
We recognize a need to expand our reach to K-12 students throughout Mississippi to begin building a strong pipeline of workers. We have already begun work on Youth Apprenticeship opportunities. As we strengthen our partnerships with local school districts, we want to help young people forge their paths into successful careers.
- Expand and Diversify Registered Apprentices in Mississippi
One of our primary goals is to connect the workforce to business and industry. We hope to bring apprenticeship opportunities to more minorities, people with disabilities, veterans, and women. These groups of people are currently underrepresented in Registered Apprenticeship across the country and are therefore a largely untapped talent pool for businesses in Mississippi in need of skilled workers.
Thank you for your support of the Mississippi Apprenticeship Program and your commitment to working with us to foster and facilitate continuous growth among businesses, individuals, and communities that improves the economic competitiveness and quality of life for all Mississippians. We look forward to continuing to learn and grow with you this year.